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tv   [untitled]    October 26, 2012 10:30am-11:00am PDT

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the best he could be. there were a lot of lessons to be learned in running a race in san francisco. a few that stick in my mind -- money does matter. raising money. that is the simple, somewhat unfortunate fact of life. i think really having a message that resonates with voters, not just saying you want to be a politician, but you have to really explain why you, and i think that was really court to what we did. most importantly, the one thing i drew out of it was the hard work and other determination is the thing that will, i think, allow you to succeed more than anything else. i believe that the candidates who won this past november with the ones who worked the hardest in their races. >> what are the biggest issues facing san francisco? >> i believe the biggest ones are economic problems right now. we face was estimated to be a $400 million deficit this fiscal year.
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potentially growing next fiscal year. it all comes back to that in many ways. we have a growing pension and retiree health care problem that is huge and looming and getting worse. as important, we have a huge unemployment rate here in san francisco. it is about 9.6% right now, and the fact that we have not done much about that in city hall i think is about to change. that is certainly something i will be focused on, putting people back to work. it is an individual issue, but it is a family issue, and we have a lot of families still struggling, and a think people have lost sight of that. hopefully, we will be getting out of this recession soon, but we need to do a lot in city hall to accelerate getting out of the recession, making sure families are back at work, making sure children are provided for. that is my biggest priority. >> talk about the issues facing your district specifically and
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how you are going to balance the issues facing the city at large against those in your district. >> we definitely have a few big projects for issues -- or issues we're paying a lot of attention to and we will continue to devote a lot of attention to, both myself and my staff. one of biggest ones is the planned development of the new campus for california and pacific medical center. that has dominated a lot of city-wide dialogue in the past few years. that project is slated to go forward or get through the entitlement process this year in city hall. if you are not familiar, we currently have a california campus and a pacific campus, and the plan is to build a bigger campus and consolidate those services into one larger hospital at the old cathedral hill spa on van ness, and that is going to have a huge impact, both in terms of the neighborhood in district 2, not
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only the new campus, but what happens to the pacific and california campus. also, is a huge job creator. we're making sure to do it in a way to we have every constituent buy into the project, create a ton of new jobs, and move forward with a health care system that benefits all of us. otherwise, some of the other issues coming up -- francisco reservoir in russian hill is going to be an issue that comes up. we have a huge project on doyle drive that is getting finished in the next couple of years. we need to make sure we wanted to the impacts. it is going to be a big deal. after leaving here, i am going down there with the mayor and the head of our department of transportation to really make sure we understand exactly what is happening at this point in time in the project. that is just a smattering of some of the issues, but they are
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very important, and a plan to spend a lot of my time -- and these are the neighborhoods i grew up in, so, for me, it is fun to be in these neighborhoods to see what is going on and influence some of the thinking of some of the people making these decisions. i think we do lose a lot of sight. in the past, district supervisor's have lost sight of the fact that we do represent sanford cisco as a whole, and we need to major in city hall that we are acting policies, laws, and legislation that will of the city forward as a whole. there are a lot of issues like that. i mentioned job creation, pensions. a lot of them are economic, but some of them are more than that, making sure we continue to have dialogue with the 49ers. that is something that is not necessarily economic but something that matters to the city as a whole. it is a big part of what i look forward to doing in city hall. >> what are the specific thoughts you have on how the
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city can deal with budget issues? >> i think of two things. i'm not one the things that we can raise revenue and that is going to solve out of our problems -- i'm not one who thinks that we can raise revenue, and that will solve all our problems. we need to look at what we do as a city and was services we offer. we have 26,000 city employees. our payroll and fringe benefits for city employees accounts for over 60% of our budget. if we are not willing to look at that issue, i do not think we are going to solve -- i know we will not solve our long-term financial issues. that, to me, is the biggest deal. second, it is about job creation. jobs are not just putting people back to work, which i think is the highest priority, but it is all the ancillary benefits we received, whether it be payroll taxes, an increase in property taxes. people who live and work in san francisco also shop at local restaurants, so shop at the
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local retail stores. it is a huge economic impact in san francisco. in my opinion, it is getting our costs under control but also promoting economic development so we have a financial engine that will continue to promote us year after year. >> what are your ideas on dealing with the issue of homelessness in san francisco? >> i am one that thinks mayor newsom did a great job thinking proactively about what we need to do in san francisco. when he started care not cash -- but enacted so many things past that. project award down, when he ended up making sure there were family members on the receiving end, giving people bus tickets to go back home to where they are from -- project homeward bound. unfortunately, the project does not have a silver bullet ending. we deal with our homeless problem, and a lot of it, we need to make sure that the homeless population -- a lot of
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them have mental health issues where it is just not solvable to lock them up. we need to help them, and i think we have that in our heart and soul to make sure that we treat the people as much as possible. at the same time, our biggest issue is that we have a continued influx of people in san francisco, so the more people we help, the more people come in, so it is a rotating system right now, and i think we need to continue to address the issue, spend a lot of financial resources on the issue, but again, i think it is something we will have to grapple with. but what is the long term solution here? we continue to attract more and more people in san francisco. again, i do not know what a silver bullet is to that, but i acknowledge it is a huge priority, a huge issue that affects everyone in the city. in our neighborhoods, the
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homeless people themselves, of course, and also the tourism industry, which we rely on so much, so i think it is a big issue and something we all need to focus on. >> what about the city's housing needs? what you think the board of supervisors should do to really address housing? >> again, a huge issue here in san francisco. we live in a very expensive place. housing is one of the biggest components of that. i'm not one the things we should be interfering with private markets sales and so forth. i think that should be left to its own devices. again, we are in an expensive city. however, what we can do at the board is in sure that we promote and provide for both affordable and middle-class housing in the city. i think it is so important that we maintain our diversity in san francisco and who we are as a people and we really stay true to those values. the large part, insuring something that we want to focus on and i want to focus on, making sure that there are
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housing opportunities for our first responders to be here in san francisco and living here, police officers, firefighters, sheriffs, teachers -- people that provide such essential services for our community, to make sure they have opportunities in san francisco to buy homes, set up groups as a family and really be integrated into our neighborhoods. to me, that is what we should be doing and, again, something we should be doing. >> let's talk again about transportation in your district. is there adequate service? let's talk about parking and traffic. tell us a little bit about district 2. >> district 2 definitely relies on muni quite a bit, though perhaps not as much as other districts, but it is so important for a number of people, for a community perspective to and from work. the mainline, stockton and the marina.
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the one california is a major bust the comes through the district, and a few other lines, of course, on the borders of our district. it is a huge deal for us, and we need to make sure we continue to provide a great service. we are transit first here, and people embrace that, but we need to make sure we have a reliable, robust public transportation system, so it is a big deal. we do have a lot of people in the district that drive cars, a lot of people that have families. i'm one of those as well. i take it was once in awhile, but frankly, the way we have arranged in our family is i spend my morning with my children, and time allowing, i take them to school in the morning, so i drive them with my car. i do not believe the way to achieve our goals is to make parking so inconvenient, so expensive, such a bad experience that people, so to speak, capitulate and take public transportation. that is not the way we are going
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to make it happen. we need to innovate, in my opinion, our public transportation system. we are doing things like the bus rapid transit systems, things like being allowed to pay for your public transportation -- we now have the clipper card. let's talk about putting that on your mobile phone and using that. innovating in ways were people say that public transportation is a great way to go. that is the way to achieve true innovation, not through making it so inconvenient for people to drive. i think it is a fact of life. young families are going to use their vehicles. we need to do a lot in san francisco to encourage young people and young families to stay in san francisco. i think we are missing out on a lot of our diversity when young families leave our city. we need to do all we can to be mindful of the needs of young families in the city. we mentioned housing. schools are a big deal.
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but also being able to be flexible with transportation and children. >> what is happening with crime in your district? give me your thoughts on how you think the police are doing with respect to crime in your district? >> i think we are very fortunate in district two. we have a number of great police captains that oversee the stations that touched district two. richmond and northern are the two major police stations that touched the district. we do have a lot of crime in district 2. both crimes against individuals but also against merchants along our merchant corridors. chestnut. union in particular has been hit. fillmore and sacramento. it is a big deal. we also have the break-ins. we need to be very mindful that people keep their iphones and
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laptops out of sight. but it is a big deal. one of the things i talk a lot about on the campaign, making sure that we do fund our public safety departments. we have to make some tough decisions this year, but to me, one of the biggest priorities is making sure that we have our police and firefighters and sheriffs' offices and their budgets fully funded so that we can ensure that public safety does not lag during these budget times. again, in district 2, i do not think it is talked about as much. we are fortunate that we do not have a lot of homicides. we do not have a lot of those types of serious crimes. but the crimes that to happen to matter to the people in district two. so as a local supervisor, it is incumbent upon me, and i take it very seriously to pay attention and make sure we engage with the police and fire department
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said they are aware of exactly what is happening, but again, i have to tell you that i think we are very lucky with the police infrastructure we have an firefighter infrastructure we have and the officers and firefighters we have on the ground. we are very lucky. >> you mentioned that you are a former athlete. talk to me about the role of sports in the city's economic future, from the 49ers to the america's cup. talk to me about sports in san francisco. >> i was fortunate growing up. i was one that had season tickets to season49ers -- season tickets to the 49ers from what i was 8 years old. one part is economic, which i'll get to in the second, but the other part that is missing is what it does for the city of san francisco to bring us together as a community, as a city. what happened when the 49ers won those super bowls year after year? that was a huge deal for our
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city and our community in san francisco. what happened with the world series this year when the giants won for the first time in over 50 years? incredible. everybody was celebrating. and that is a huge deal for our community in san francisco, but i think, economically, not only jobs in terms of construction of stadiums and what have you. economically, you know, for those people who do not believe or do not really fully appreciate what type of economic drivers the sporting events and teams are, go down to soma during a giants game. come to the marina when the blue angels fly in town. what it does to the local streets and bridges. come to district 3 and district two and districts 6 and 10 when the america's cup comes to town and see what type of influx of economic activity these events drive to us. i think that is something that
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is not talk about enough. both the community aspect, the intangible fact of who we are as san francisco, coming together around sports teams, that is an incredible opportunity, but then, the economic drivers in our neighborhoods is very real, and i think something that we are lucky right now, certainly in district 2. we have the blue angels every year, but the america's cup will become a large economic boom, and we need to pay attention to how much that benefits us as a city. >> it looks like we are just about out of time, and it sounds like there is a lot happening in city hall today, so we are going to wrap this up. >> there is. >> always. are there any other issues or things you would like to share briefly with respect to your new position as supervisor, or thoughts you have about san francisco before we wrap up our conversation? >> i touched on it earlier.
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for me, personally, especially coming from my background outside of city government, i knew my role on all the economic activity in san francisco, focusing on jobs, but also, a lot of quality of life issues. young families, what is like to live here as a san francisco, and what we can do in city hall to make life better for san francisco residents. to me, that is a huge deal. i think we have lost focus on that in city hall over the past few years. it is something i want to focus on. to me, it is a huge priority, why i did this. i will be very true what i talk about on the campaign trail. representing a. 2, but also the city -- representing a district 2, but also the city and county of san francisco. it is such an honor and unique experience, and of just having a great time and look forward to
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making a big difference in city hall. >> great. we have been talking to supervisor farrell from district 2. thank you for joining us on sfgtv's "meet your district supervisor." four episodes when we come back with another of our city supervisors. thank you very much. >> you bet. ♪
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>> hello and "welcome to meet your district supervisor. we're here with david chiu from district 3. that includes chinatown, fisherman's wharf, and part of the russian hill neighborhood. he was elected to the board in november of 2008 and has served as board president since january of 2009. we will get to know him and talk about the toughest issues facing them. thank you for joining us today. tell us about your background. >> my parents immigrated to the united states in the 1960's. i was the first kid born in the u.s. my parents sacrificed everything so that their kids could have the opportunities
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that they wanted when they came here. i grew up in the boston area and lived in different parts of boston. i went to catholic price school in dorchester, a section of boston. -- i went to catholic high school in dorchester, a section of boston. because of my parents, my brothers and i were all blessed to go to harvard university. that is where i went to school. it was intense. i stayed there for law school and have a master's in public policy from there. those are subjects i decided to study because i was interested in public service and public policy issues and government. >> you grew up in the boston area. what made you want to make the transition and moved to san francisco? what motivated you to get involved in politics question marks before i ran for office, and worked in san francisco as a
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criminal prosecutor and civil rights attorney. i got to understand how much of a be in san francisco is to the rest of the world for social justice. i spent a number of years helping to grow a small business. i got to understand the innovative spirit in san francisco. at night, i volunteered as a neighborhood leader and as feature of an affordable housing organization. i learned so much about the challenges facing our neighborhoods and the special jewels that are the urban villages we live in. i ran for office because i wanted to serve the city and protect all that is so special about san francisco. >> what lessons did you learn after campaigning for supervisor? >> san franciscans are incredibly interested in their city government, local politics,
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and making sure that we remain the most amazing city in the world. i learned that san franciscans during campaign read everything they are sent in the mail. they love to meet the candidates and engage in conversations with them. i learned how important it is to build bridges between different communities, particularly communities of diversity that we have. i was incredibly honored to have been elected in november of 2008. >> where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? >> i consider myself someone who shares the progressive values that many sentences can hold dear. we have been a beacon to the rest of the world region that many sentences skins hold dear. we have been a beacon to the rest of the world for those. >> you are president of the board. describe the role of the opposition and the responsibilities that come with being the president of the board
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of supervisors. >> as president, i preside over the weekly meetings we have tuesday at 2:00 here in the chamber. i also determine which legislations will go to various committees that we have. as a district supervisor, i sit on a number of legislative committees. >> what are some of the biggest issues facing san francisco? >> we have a lot of challenges right now. we're still in the midst of the great recession. we know too many folks who are struggling in minimum-wage jobs. we know folks who have been laid off of work. as a city, we need to do much better at creating an environment where we have more jobs and economic development. we are also extremely challenge in our public transit. we talk about being a transit first city, but everyone has had
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the experience of sitting in gridlock, waiting for the bus, trying to hail that tab, walking on pedestrian sidewalks that are not particularly safe. as a city, we need to do more to invest in the first-class transportation system. >> what are some of the biggest issues facing your district? >> in addition to the local economy that impacts the merchant corridors, to many vacant storefronts, transit issues, in every neighborhood we're having a real conversation about how we change, whether we should preserve aspects of the important characters of our neighborhood or think about building new things. there is also a real discussion we're having in many neighborhoods about affordability. i hear from too many tenants in the process of being evicted,
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homeowners being foreclosed on. we need to think about how all of us can continue to live in a city where the whole world wants to be. >> it is a great place to be. >> it is a great place to be. how do you balance the needs of your district versus the needs of the city as a whole? >> i have an incredibly diverse district. it encompasses north beach and chinatown. we have the city's famous hills. we have for the world comes to work, the financial district's, where the world comes to shop in union square, where the tourists spend time on fisherman's wharf , and the wonderful polk street neighborhoods. my district encompasses the ethnic and economic diversity that exists throughout the city. i think my district is emblematic of the entire city.
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you can find every political perspective you can possibly want in district 3. oftentimes, the interests of my district and the city are aligned. i do not have to think about those differences quite as often as some of my colleagues may have to. >> let's talk about the budget situation. we have been faced with some tough budget decisions again, including where to make cuts and whether or not to increase taxes. how will you approached these hard choices? >> our budget is one of the very top challenges facing city government right now. over each of the years i have served, we have had to balance budget deficits that were around $500 million. this year, we're facing another budget deficit of almost $400 million. fortunately in recent years, we
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have had some ability to do some one-time budgeting tricks that allow us to balance the budget that do not exist this year. in past years, we've received federal stimulus money. we received more monies from the state government. last year our labor unions decided to contribute a quarter of a billion dollars to help balance last year's and this year's budget. those are things we do not have the ability to avail ourselves of us we balance the upcoming budget in a few months. we are faced with far fewer options. i think we are going to have to continue to look at very deep and difficult cuts. our priorities have to be insuring and protecting the most basic city services and helping to ensure that we have services to the most vulnerable during
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this great recession. >> what about the city's housing needs? what should the board due to address those needs? >> we are a city that is seventh by 7 miles. we have incredible density. we're the densest neighborhoods on the west coast. everyone wants to live here. that drives up housing prices dramatically. the housing costs are driving out working folks, families, the middle class. we need to continue to reinvest, to build, to develop, and maintain a troop stock of affordable housing. i am committed to increase in more funds so that we can build more housing that can be afforded by folks of all economic backgrounds. >> what about the issue of homelessness? >> in recent years during the
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terrible economy, we have had to cut back significantly. our social-service net, programs for folks who may have mental illnesses, we have seen many problems become exacerbated on the streets. when you combine that with the fact that we have an affordable housing in most parts of the city, it is no surprise our homeless numbers have gone up in recent years. the city needs to recommit ourselves to the values that our city was named after. st. francis believed in compassion for those who have less -- had less than others. those of us with opportunities have to give back. part of that entails taking care of the most important among us, the folks who have need, including our homeless. >> let's talk